Grief, Grieving & Grace: A Huge Difference

by | Jan 4, 2023 | Grace, Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Wherever a beautiful soul has been there is a trail of beautiful memories.” – Ronald Reagan

My Beautiful Memory…

On November 4th, what would have been Jan’s 80th birthday, we had a wonderful memorial up at the top of “our mountain”, Mt. San Jacinto where her beautiful soul now blazes a trail down the rocky but lush mountainside.

I see her and feel her every morning when I look up to where we spread her ashes and prayed our words of thanksgiving and Grace.

She would be happy that I finished the print edition of Grieve With Grace™: Beyond Acceptance. We will be shipping next week and she would have been all caught up in the buzz of the release!


Because our first Grace Counseling session is next Monday, January 9, 2023, I have been putting the presentation into a simplified order and something — actual scientific research — got my attention.

There now is consensus that grief is substantially different from grieving. In short, grief is the reaction to the shock and trauma we feel from loss. Grieving is more like a learning process where we learn how to live without the person we lost… cook, clean, pay the bills, everything the other person did is now a hole in our life we must learn to fill in, fix, and live with.

For simplicity of understanding, I have clipped a few words from this scientific paper that will help us all better understand the big points… grief and grieving are as different as is Grace from each other. The full article is here…

O’Connor: The heart of grieving really is around yearning, yearning for that person to be back or for things to be back the way they were before. We know now from both diagnostic clinical science, but also brain imaging work, that grief and depression are not the same thing. 

To think about what happens when we lose a loved one, you have to first recognize that the brain encodes a bond. When you fall in love with your spouse or with your child, the brain encodes this bond. Essentially, it creates a WE, not just a you and a me, but it creates a WE of overlapping experience. Because of that then, when a loved one is no longer there, we actually experience it as part of us is missing, right? At a very neural and coded level, our representation of the “WE” has a hole in it.

Perhaps that is why we describe feeling like there’s a hole in our heart. With that then, we come to understand differently perhaps, and can consider things like phantom limb syndrome, right? Where people who have had an arm or part of a leg amputated, they sometimes experience itching or pain in that absent limb. We know it’s because the brain has not rewired its representation of the body. We’re actually experiencing sensations in the brain that aren’t related to peripheral nerves. I think that we’re coming to discover the way that way WE (you + your loved one = WE) gets encoded might mean that we continue to expect to have both parts of WE . You to expect to have both parts of WE, as we function in the world and then experience it as a great loss, as a missing, as an absence when they’re not there with us.

So here’s an analogy that may help. If you break a bone, we don’t actually do something to knit those cells back together, right? That’s a natural healing process that happens. Although, we might do something to support that process. So we may wear a cast for example to give it support or use crutches, right, to give a little extra resources. And that’s a natural process unless sometimes we have complications where there’s an infection in the area that’s trying to heal or perhaps there’s a secondary break in the bone.

O’Connor: This has really come about from years now of studying grief and grieving and reading a lot of studies about what happens when we experience the death of a loved one. It really has struck me that grieving can be thought of as a form of learning.This is, in a few different ways we can think of it. One is that after we experience something as difficult as our one and only passing away, we really have to figure out: How do I live in the world now? What does it mean to retire when this person that I’ve been going to do this with for decades is no longer going to do that with me? Part of it is learning to be in the world as a person who carries this absence with them, but even at a smaller level, you can think about all the tiny little habits that we have to change. This is that feeling of the experience of picking up the phone to call them because something has happened. Then of course, realizing that we can’t call them. All those little habits and predictions that we have to learn in a new way.


My take on all the hard science behind the grieving process, and the hard, reproducible science behind each of our keywords—Gratitude… Resilience… Authenticity… Creativity… Empathy— or GRACE as we have come to know it, is pretty simple.

You must learn to Grieve With Grace if you are to find a new path toward a life worth living.

You must make Grace a Habit…

To love and be loved again,
Eric Richard Haas

Your Bridge of Grace Takes You
High Above Your River of Tears

Written by HunrayOne

Eric Richard Haas lost his beautiful wife, Janice, to incurable cancer on January 9, 2022, after 30 wonderful years of marriage. Together they have 5 kids, 9 grandkids, and 8 great-grandkids. Eric (E.R) is the CEO of the TQ Smart family of companies, a serial entrepreneur x22 and author x27 (AKA The Invisible Billionaire) E. R. lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beautiful cat, Kissie



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